Big Day Out 2011 was my seventh in seven years, and if you know a thing or two about numbers and their spiritual meaning, this one is particularly magical. I can’t confirm such beliefs, as my seventh experience definitely had its share of crappy moments, but don’t cry pussycat – there were good times too. Here’s my top seven from both ends of the spectrum:
The Good Times:
1. Ratatat. Need I say more? I guess I should seeing as this is a review…These longhaired guys straight out of Brooklyn are truly incredible, and rocked the boiler room with their bassy tunes from start to finish. Particularly delightful were the moments where the lads showed off their humorous side by taking sips of booze before looking at the crowd with arms held out as if to say ‘so what?’. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who was charmed by such a performance, and absolutely loved WildCat & Drugs.
2. Sunshine was found with LCD Soundsystem’s stunning performance in the boiler room, which was a much needed treat after feeling a little worse for wear from the day’s events. Tunes played to a packed room were Dance Yourself Clean, Drunk Girls, I Can Change, Daft Punk Is Playing At My House, You Wanted A Hit, Movement, Tribulations, Home and All My Friends.
3. Kora didn’t let the rain get in the way of a good time in the early evening, and nor did I. Dancing outside in the mist was actually a nice change to the past six events, and I think that most people felt the same at that stage. To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you what they performed due to the dancing times, but what ever it was was good. There were a few people who turned up surprised that they weren’t The Black Keys, but stuck around anyway. Excellent work team Kora.
4. Everyone seemed to pull little ponchos from out of their asses when the rain came down, so there was a sea of plastic floating around the stadium from 5:30 onwards, which was pretty darn cute. Only thing that wasn’t so cute was that I didn’t have one stashed up mine. As the day came to a close, I began to feel a little nervous at the thought of a half hour walk home in the rain, but much to my delight I managed to find a deserted one on the floor in the boiler room. HappyHoboFace.
5. Brazilian New Wavers, CSS got the crowd pumping in the boiler room with their energetic set, and undoubtedly had all the boys and girls in the room swooning after front-woman, Lovefoxxx. The cutie stripped down over the course of the set, starting by ripping her pants off to reveal a pair of hot pants and incredible stockings before getting down to a black mesh top. A particular highlight for me was watching the foxy lady yell to the crowd ‘I love you’, before getting into Alala. Nice stage dive at the end too. Clearly I’m in love.
6. I’ve seen Luger Boa play plenty of times over 2010, but I must say, I reckon their performance on the green stage was one of their best. Opening with Mutate Or Die, they got the crowd going for some early morning dance action and it was wicked to see the delightful Mr. Christmas getting into his usual on-stage antics. Other tunes performed were On My Mind, Fuck Tha Kidz, Lazy and their latest single Paralyzed. They had a good turn out, and I enjoyed pushing some stupid drunk dude around a bit towards the end. He deserved it.
7. And a few additional ‘likes’ from the day go to:
Bulletproof’s set which included The Checks’ Let Your Lover Know, and Computers Want Me Dead’s In Your Blood.
The ‘new’ boiler room, which has no sides on it – a welcome change from previous years of being soaked with other peoples’ sweat from the ‘ceiling’.
Burger Fuel! I was stoked to see the cart there, and even more so after checking out the hot guy behind the counter.
The Bad Times:
1. Waiting in lines as long as the Great Wall of China is never really ideal when you’re wanting to get on with your day. But how about this – I waited for about fifteen minutes only to be told when I got to the entrance that the toilets were closed due to a ‘blockage’. Brilliant stuff guys. This meant waiting in another Great Wall line for another fifteen minutes, making me afraid to drink anything else for the rest of the day. I love getting severe a case of tourettes followed by dehydration. No really, I do.
2. When I’m feeling a little bored, I like to check my emails and things on my phone, but that was barely even an option with Vodafone’s 3G network. Sucks even more when you’re standing next to someone who is using 2 Degrees and they have the internet just fine. Why did I buy an iPhone again, and why am I using Vodafone as my provider?
3. I’ve heard some really good things about M.I.A’s performance at Big Day Out, but to be completely honest with you, I thought it was rubbish. First off, I decided to stay at the back of the crowd expecting to see the stage on the large projector screens, but instead we got crappy videos – they only good one being the one for Boyz. But by this stage she sounded exhausted and like she couldn’t keep up which meant that final song, Paper Planes was barely even worth staying for.
4. Computers Want Me Dead had a stroke of bad luck with the raining times at 7pm on the hot produce stage, which was a shame because they were awesome! People still turned up though, and had a dance around in their rubbish bags, and we were even treated to a remix of Zowie’s Broken Machine, which was just delightful. Why did I put this paragraph in the ‘bad’ section again?
5. What is up with people who have the need to walk through the middle of your group? This happened throughout the day and I even threw a few people around because of it. The day wasn’t a sellout, and there was certainly plenty of room to walk around, so I really don’t get it. To those people – maybe write yourself a wee reminder note for next year to avoid a knuckle sandwich. Thanks.
6. Booooo for projectors not working properly for Crystal Castles’amazing set. With tunes like Fainting Spells, Baptism, Alice Practice, Doe Deer, Crimewave and Black Panther, it was just plain sucky not to be able to see front-woman, Alice Glass hobbling around the stage with her crutches.
7. I’m not sure if people mean it when they say that they enjoyed the ‘eclectic-ness’ of the day. What were the Iggy-goers going to do during the day, and what were the Jim Jones Revue-ers going to do in the evening? There was a definite three-hour gap in-between sets for me on the night where there was absolutely nothing of interest. I’m not being pissy about it; I’m just telling it like it is. For this and the weather, so many people left before the last acts, and I kinda’ wish I had now too after M.I.A’s set.
Apparently the number eight can mean opportunity, observation, intention and repetition…Does that mean that my eighth Big Day Out is going to be a repeat of this years? Or does it mean that organizers have made an observation and will take the opportunity to make next year’s event intentionally better for selfish people like myself? One can only hope.
Words by Amanda Ratcliffe